As an artist and entrepreneur, your email newsletter is one of the most powerful tools you have. Even in the age of social media, email represents a more direct way of communicating than appearing briefly on a social newsfeed.

An email list is valuable at all stages of business growth. So, make use of your list for networking, establishing your brand, and reaching new customers.

Here are some pointers to help you turn tired emails into a high-function marketing machine for your art business:

Make it Interesting

This may seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of newsletters are fairly dry. Increasingly, people favor their most click-worthy content for Facebook and neglect their newsletters. Don’t assume the captive audience of an email inbox gives license to bore your readers!

The good news? As an artist, you have endless material to draw upon. A demo of your technique, details about your studio layout, or news about a gallery opening is all worth sharing.

As a general rule, your best content will be at least two of the following: personal, useful, and topical.

You can also spice up your newsletter with giveaways, guest posts, and other innovative content strategies.

Use Cross-Platform Marketing

If someone reads your newsletter but doesn’t like your page on Facebook, what can you do to reach them in both places?

The answer? Develop a cross-platform marketing strategy.

It's ok to have more than one audience,  but you should be maximizing the chance that your content is viewed by optimizing your audience across platforms. Include links to your social media content in your newsletter, and make sure a newsletter sign-up is readily accessible via social media.

When you’re coming up with new ideas for content, consider ways to tie these platforms together so your fans are more engaged with both. For example, in your next newsletter, you could have a feature inspired by a question you asked your Facebook audience.

Make it Beautiful

There are many free services online that offer newsletter templates you can customize for your emails. Canva even offers a helpful step-by-step guide to making a newsletter header. A clean, professional looking newsletter can boost both your open-rates and overall brand.

Familiarity isn’t a bad thing. Stay consistent once you’ve established a newsletter design that fits your brand. When your layout shines, readers always know where to look and what to click. A good newsletter features a straightforward and scrollable layout with handy links, nice borders, and a few images.

Use an Email Tracker

To optimize your email timing and track readership, consider using a service like Mailchimp. This kind of email automation tool allows you to design, customize, schedule and analyze your email newsletters.

By tracking data such as open rate, click rate and open times, you can measure the success of your email marketing strategy. Try setting up an a/b test with different headlines or send the same campaign at different times of the day to see when your audience is online and what type of copy they enjoy.

Art marketer extraordinaire Alyson Stanfield, of The Art Biz Blog emphasizes the importance of testing your campaigns.

One of the risks of email newsletters is spamming your readers with too many updates. Readers that feel spammed will begin reflexively deleting your emails without opening them. Tracking your emails lets you pinpoint the right timing and frequency for your emails.

Bonus: use your email service schedule emails ahead of time. This feature is invaluable to keep your newsletter on a timeline.

Use the Calendar to Your Advantage

Nearly every form of media features specialized content around important holidays, and a newsletter is no exception. Be mindful of upcoming holidays and have unique content around these dates. Work across platforms to promote upcoming specialty items, craft shows, or sales.

If you have an awesome technique for painting fireworks, put that on your content calendar for the 4th of July weekend. This kind of timely content helps keep the newsletter relevant and fresh to your readers.

The bottom line ...

In the age of social media, don’t neglect good old fashioned email. Emails are a great way to implement a strategic and direct marketing strategy for your business. Combining quality content with careful planning can boost engagement, branding, and sales.

Add and organize contact information in the same place you track your sales success: Artwork Archive keeps all your art business info in one place, including your contacts.